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Spacecraft Information

Voyagers 1 and 2

diagram of Voyagers 1 and 2 components

Classification: Flyby spacecraft.

Mission: Jovian planets and interstellar space.

Features: The Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft were launched in late 1977 aboard Titan III launch vehicles with Centaur upper stages. They completed highly successful prime mission flybys of Jupiter in 1979 and Saturn in 1980 and 1981. Voyager 2's extended mission succeeded with flybys of Uranus in 1986 and Neptune in 1989. Both spacecraft are still healthy in 2000, and are conducting studies of interplanetary space enroute to interstellar space. Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 are collecting low frequency radio emissions from the termination shock (see Chapter 1), which is estimated to be within reach of the spacecraft during its mission lifetime. Science data return is expected to continue until about 2020.

A long-silent Voyager 2 is projected to pass within a light year of nearby Barnard's Star 350,000 years in the future. Both Voyager 1 and 2 will forever orbit the center of our galaxy, never returning to the sun.

Stabilization: Three-axis stabilized via thrusters.

Also see: Voyager Project Website.